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Belgian firms ‘bribed Iraqi dictator Hussein’

Published on 03/11/2005

3 November 2005

BRUSSELS — Some 30 Belgian firms are among the 2,200 companies suspected of abusing the UN Oil for Food programme.

The companies are accused of paying slush money to the regime of ousted Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

Contacted by French-speaking newspaper ‘Le Soir’, the businesses in question denied the accusations.

However, the UN investigation commission chaired by Paul Volker has stressed that it was not playing around when it revealed the names of the implicated companies.

The commission said it based its findings on thousands of documents and hundreds of interviews, newspaper ‘Het Laatste Nieuws’ reported on Thursday.

The UN commission has at its disposal an operating budget of USD 35 million.

Several countries have since started investigations into firms named by the commission.

However, the federal public prosecution office in Belgium has not yet launched any inquiries.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Belgian news